SSBM - Layout for Pivots?

Have you ever wanted to implement pivoting into your game, but think it's too daunting?  Well have we got news for you:  Follow this pivot guide step by step, and we'll not only help you master this next-level technique!

The Dirty Lowdown:  All pivots in SSBM require a very tight and specific timing.  What we're going to do is make the muscle memory virtually identical for your pivoting needs.

WARNING:  Pivots in Smash Bros. Melee are not for the faint of heart.  These techniques all require frame-perfect timing.  We're teaching them to you not because they are easy, but because the potential of the Smash Box makes these techniques extremely viable!  If you're interested in pushing your game further than any human has gone before, read on.  Just don't forget to practice!!!

Be sure to check out our post on pivots: Pivots in Melee.

We'll be using this specific button layout for pivoting!

The TILT modifier below the C-Stick will make it so that all your pivot attacks use almost identical rhythmic timing! 

Now Let's Pivot on into PIVOTS

Let's start with Smash attacks.  If you can learn this first technique, you're 90% there already!

Dash, then Back -> C-Stick

This technique requires frame perfect timing!  Dash, and then very quickly dash Back and press a C-Stick attack instantly.  It's very important to hit the C-Stick the VERY NEXT FRAME!

Having arcade buttons for both your Analog Stick and C-Stick create a much more accurate situation for executing your pivot.  The Sanwa buttons in the Smash Box are the same buttons used in arcade sticks and Hit Box controllers that are used for very tight links in combos for games such as Street Fighter and Tekken.  In short, the throw distance of a Sanwa button is MUCH tighter to work with than the throw of an analog stick; arcade buttons help you time your inputs!

    To better learn this timing, be sure to click the speaker icon on these videos and turn up your volume!  You can listen to the sound of how I'm hitting one button after the other.  You'll notice that sound is constant throughout this entire guide.

    You can use this timing with C-Stick Left, Down, or Right and be able to smash attack at any time out of your Dash Dance!  Adding that smash tipper to your threat range adds a lot of scare factor to your neutral game.  Make them respect it!

    Empty Pivot

    Now let's use the TILT modifier!  Empty pivot is the most important technique in here, and is the ultimate pivot handwarmer.

    Dash, then Back -> TILT

    This is exactly what we did for Smash Pivots, but hitting the TILT modifier instead of the C-Stick.  It's nice having them conveniently next to each other.  ;)

    Out of any Dash, you can dash Back and hit the TILT modifier on the very next frame to stop cold.  What's happening is you're cancelling your smash turn back dash into a walk.  It has to be frame perfect and the very next frame after you back dash.

    Once again, listen to the sound of the pivot!

    Tipper:  On PC you can slow the speed of the video down and listen to the rhythm at half speed, or even watch frame by frame.

    Pivot Tilt Attacks

    Now that we can Empty Pivot, let's add the A Button and see what happens!

    Dash, then Back Dash -> TILT -> A

    We're already holding Back from the smash turn, and we just cancelled it into a walk with the TILT modifier, so adding the A Button at the end gives us a pivoting Forward Tilt! 

    And before we starting pivoting into Up and Down Tilt, let's get some practice with SOCDs.


    Hold Tilt 1

    Press Forward -> Forward+Up+Back+A for a turnaround Up Tilt


    Press Forward -> Forward+Down+Back+A to get a turnaround Down Tilt

    Now let's take that knowledge and use pivots.



    Dash, then Back -> Back-Down-Forward + TILT -> A

    We're now using SOCD Neutral to only get the Down input after the pivot. This allows us to get a Pivot Down Tilt.

    Tipper:  On PC you can slow the video down and watch even frame by frame to help break the motion down.  There are a lot of things happening in a very tight window!


    Let's do the same thing now with Up Tilt. 


    Dash, then Back -> Back-Up-Forward + TILT -> A

    Same as before but this time we're doing it with Up Tilt!

    For more on using SOCD for pivots, check out our post: SSBM WASD Pivots.

    Tipper:  On PC you can slow the video down and watch even frame by frame to help break the motion down.  There are a lot of things happening in a very tight window!

    If you're having difficulty, keep practicing your Smash Pivots and try to master the Empty Pivot first!  Essentially it is the exact same timing and muscle memory, only you're adding two more buttons to it!

    Confused?  That's okay!  Please remember that this is an ADVANCED TECHNIQUE!  Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your frame perfect timing.  But if you can get it once, then you can get it twice, and then maybe twice in a row... keep building that up to 5 in a row and so on!

    The main message is that you have a direct path to some next level meta firepower!  By putting the TILT modifier down by your C-Stick and putting A in a easier-to-reach spot, you're now able to tackle most all the tilt techniques at once!

    Happy Training!

    -Hit Box Dustin